Activision, EA Tried To Buy Minecraft - Report
Fascinating new report also reveals Markus "Notch" Persson's new game development company and lots more.
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An excellent new story from Forbes dives into the post-Minecraft life of the game's creator Markus "Notch" Persson and also reveals new details about how it wasn't just Microsoft that came knocking at Mojang's door to buy the hit franchise.
Forbes reports that Activision Blizzard and Electronic Arts, among others, also came forward, expressing interest in pursuing a deal. Discussions with Activision "petered out," the report says. Persson wouldn't talk specifics about what happened with EA, a company he has been critical of in the past. But he did say that Mojang ruled out would-be buyers "who did gameplay in a way we didn't like."
Microsoft's 2.5 billion offer, however, proved to be the most alluring. Sale terms included Mojang's three founders getting a "clean break" from the company and the promise that there would be no layoffs at Mojang. Forbes notes that with only 47 total Mojang employees, layoffs were unlikely to happen anyway.
Xbox boss Phil Spencer orchestrated the deal on Microsoft's side. Though Mojang's business boss Carl Manneh took point on sale terms, Persson and other Mojang founder Jakob Porser spent time with Spencer "over herb-flavored Swedish liquor arguing with them about the direction of the gaming industry," according to Forbes.
The report also reveals that Microsoft's CEO, Satya Nadella, never visited Mojang during acquisition talks for what turned out to be the largest buyout so far during his tenure. Nadella did, however, speak with Manneh on the phone multiple times to discuss the deal.
The full Forbes story is a fascinating read that reveals so much more, including how Persson and company took a "sellout trip" to Miami and St. Barts to celebrate the deal with Microsoft. It also reveals the name of Persson's new game development company, which he is calling Rubberbrain. He opened the company with Porser "in case they think of a new game idea."
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